TOTTORI – Work resumed Thursday to ship uranium-contaminated soil from a mountain forest in Tottori Prefecture to the United States.
The work by the Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute began Monday but was suspended on the first day after one of the bags packed with contaminated soil fell from a truck.
Officials at the institute said the delay will not affect its plan to ship the soil from the port in Kobe to Seattle in early October.
After being shipped to the U.S., an unnamed contractor will dispose of the soil at a cost of 660 million yen and use the extracted uranium for power generation there.
The shipping work was resumed as the institute deployed larger transport vehicles to ensure that the bags containing contaminated soil will not fall off on rough roads. On Monday, the bag fell off from a truck as the vehicle lost its balance on a steep dirt road.
On Thursday morning, about 40 workers from the institute loaded bags packed with contaminated soil onto large trucks at a mountainside storage site in the town of Yurihama. Each truck carries four bags, and the institute plans to ship 33 bags a day.
The shipment is aimed at paving the way toward solving a long-standing legal row between the local community and the nuclear institute that erupted after the existence of the contaminated soil came to light in 1988.
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